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Xcel Energy and City of Boulder Release Revised Agreements

After hearing community input since they released a proposed franchise agreement on July 30 and detailed potential settlement documents on Aug. 6, Xcel Energy and the City of Boulder have released slightly revised franchise, settlement and partnership agreements that address many of the concerns raised by the community. The principal changes are as follows:

  • The franchise opt-out provision based on specific climate goals has been modified to include all greenhouse gases as measured by carbon dioxide equivalents. The prior agreement referred only to carbon dioxide.
  • Xcel Energy and the city also agree to allow City Council and/or Boulder voters up to 16 months to decide whether to exercise the greenhouse gas opt-out provision. The prior agreement only allowed for 30 days.
  • All franchise opt-out provisions — both discretionary at the five-, 10-, and 15-year anniversaries, as well as the greenhouse gas emission standards — have been clarified.
  • The settlement agreement has been modified to allow the city to use Xcel Energy’s distribution poles to implement a municipal broadband system, should the city choose to do so at a later date. The prior agreement made no provision for broadband connected to poles, but did enable broadband in common underground trenches.
  • Xcel Energy will allow the election process to proceed without its intervention directly in a campaign, including this fall’s election to approve the franchise or any election to terminate the franchise based on emissions targets in 2022.
  • The partnership agreement has been modified for Boulder to receive reliability data using the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) as well as other measures of reliability. 

The updated agreements are available on the city website. 

City Council will hold a public hearing on the potential Xcel Energy agreements on Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. Information about participating in the public hearing is available at:

About Local Power

Boulder’s Energy Future goals were established to build an energy future that is clean, local, reliable, secure and provides value back to the community. 

Boulder’s efforts have begun to chart a path for 21st-century municipalization. Since the project began, the city has cleared several significant milestones, including gaining regulatory approval of the city’s separation plan, developing detailed engineering plans that will safely separate Boulder’s electric system from Xcel’s, creating robust financial analysis tools that demonstrate the financial viability of a local electric utility and receiving bids from power providers that demonstrate the potential to access high levels of renewables for lower costs. Throughout this process, Boulder has engaged its active and knowledgeable community to help shape its efforts towards an energy future that is clean, affordable, equitable, reliable and resilient.

 About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy has a successful track record of reducing carbon emissions, keeping bills low and expanding clean energy sources in Colorado while also helping customers reduce their own energy use to support a cleaner environment. In Colorado today, 30 percent of the company’s energy comes from renewable sources.  The transformative Colorado Energy Plan will increase that renewable percentage to fifty-five by 2026 and deliver a 60 percent carbon reduction.

Through collaboration with the State of Colorado during the 2019 Legislative session, the trajectory to achieve the 2030 target of 80 percent carbon reduction is well underway.  The Company will bring forward plans to achieve this carbon reduction goal in the Spring of 2021.

Media Contacts

Emily Sandoval, City of Boulder, 970-210-1225

Michelle Aguayo, Xcel Energy, 303-294-2300

Posted: Aug. 18, 2020